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The South Korean government is mapping out policies to ward off rampant clandestine marriage brokerage services that sell poor foreign women, including Vietnamese, to Korean men.

Date: 2007-05-05

The Republic of Korea (RoK) Embassy to Vietnam said Friday its government is working with 13 agencies to deploy action programs to help foreign women have a better life in RoK.

Measures include a draft law on reining in shady foreign marriage brokerage services to foil illegal matchmaking where women are exchanged for money.

Under the draft law, only licensed foreign marriage services will be deemed eligible for operation in RoK. Earlier, these unlicensed services only needed to report their operation to relevant authorities.

Beginning in 2008, RoK will deploy a scheme under which foreign fiancées will be interviewed and adequate information concerning their mental and physical conditions, financial abilities, and legal records of their potential Korean spouses would be obtained.

The program is set to run on a trial basis in countries where a large number of girls tend to tie the knot with Korean husbands, including Vietnam.

The Embassy also said President Roh Moo-Hyun had convened a cabinet session to instruct the government to beef up the fight against illegal marriage brokerage.

There were over 10,000 Vietnamese wives in South Korea at the end of 2006, 74 percent more than at the end of 2005, official statistics showed.

Vietnamese police have busted some cases of “en-mass matchmaking,” in which many Vietnamese women were gathered and “showcased” for South Korean men to choose.

In one such case recently, police found 66 young Vietnamese girls being scrutinized by two South Korean suitors.

A person detained said the suitors had promised to give their future in-laws US$400-500 each and take their new wives to Korea to start a family.

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